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NEWater

History

NEWater may sound like an overnight success for Singapore. But its evolution is a journey that spanned 3 decades.

Singapore's first water masterplan was drawn up in 1972. In 1974, PUB built a pilot plant to turn used water into potable water. This was the precursor of today's NEWater factories. But it was ahead of its time. The costs were astronomical and the membranes were unreliable, so the idea was shelved to await further technological advancement.

In 1998, the necessary technology had matured and driven production costs down. In May 2000, the first NEWater plant was completed.

Now

Singapore success story and the pillar of Singapore’s water sustainability, NEWater is high-grade reclaimed water. It is produced from treated used water that is further purified using advanced membrane technologies and ultra-violet disinfection, making it ultra-clean and safe to drink.

NEWater has passed more than 100,000 scientific tests and surpasses World Health Organisation requirements, a testimony of its high quality and reliability.

NEWater is proof that using today's water treatment technologies, water of any quality can be treated into drinking water. It has put Singapore on the world map for innovative water management, including winning for PUB the Stockholm Industry Water Award in 2007. The first NEWater plants were opened in Bedok and Kranji in 2003. The latest and largest NEWater plant at Changi with a capacity of 50mgd was opened in May 2010. Currently, NEWater meets up to 30% of the nation’s current water needs. By 2060, we plan to triple the current NEWater capacity so that NEWater can meet up to 55% of our future water demand.

NEWater Usage: Industry and Drinking Water

Industry

NEWater is primarily for non-potable industrial uses. Supplied to wafer fabrication, electronics and power generation industries for process use, it is also piped to commercial and institutional buildings for air conditioning cooling purposes. This frees up potable water for domestic consumption. It is delivered via a separate distribution network to industrial and commercial customers.

The demand for NEWater has grown 15-fold from 4 mgd (18,200 cubic metres a day) in 2003 to some 60 mgd (273,000 cubic metres a day) today.

Drinking Water

A small percentage of NEWater is also blended with raw water in the reservoir. The raw water from the reservoir then goes through treatment at the waterworks before it is supplied to consumers as tap water.

 

The NEWater Visitor Centre, which was opened in February 2003, is the focal point of PUB’s public education on NEWater. The centre highlights the importance of water and how Singapore leverages on advances in technology to reclaim water. Visitors are able to view firsthand the operation of the advanced dual membrane and ultraviolet technologies used to produce NEWater.

 

 
Last updated on 30 May 2014